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RFD- 3791 Bylaws   Item #   10. d.    
Regular Council Meeting Agenda
Meeting Date: 01/13/2020  
Title:    C-1095-19 - Third Reading - Council Procedure Bylaw Amendment - Consent Agenda - Frostad
Department: Corporate Services  
Strategic Vision Element: This topic relates to all three of the City’s strategic vision elements contained in Council’s Strategic Plan Related Goal:

Information
Request for Decision Summary
In an effort to increase the efficiency of Council meetings, an overview of the use, considerations, procedures and implementation of a Consent Agenda were brought before Committee of Whole on November 18, 2019 for review and feedback. Based on the discussion, Committee agreed to the use of a Consent Agenda during Council meetings. In order to facilitate the implementation and use of a Consent Agenda, proposed amendments to the Council Procedure Bylaw have been made to provide procedural direction.

Proposed Motion
That third reading be given to Bylaw C-1095-19 - Council Procedure Bylaw Amendment.
Background/Analysis
As we are working to transition ourselves to a mid-sized city, the City Clerk’s Office is reviewing agenda and meeting processes in an effort to modernize and increase transparency, fairness, and efficiency. During this comprehensive review, the City Clerk’s Office will be looking to strengthen and provide clarity around processes, including how information is provided to Council, how the public presents to Council, and how Council moves its agenda forward. One of the most useful tools for increasing efficiency is the use of a Consent Agenda.

A Consent Agenda (also known in Roberts Rules of Order as a “consent calendar”) groups more than one agenda item and their recommended motions into a single agenda item, so the grouped agenda items can be approved by one “omnibus motion”, rather than through multiple motions. Verbal presentations are not provided for items on the Consent Agenda, and the items are not debated individually.

A Consent Agenda is an efficiency and time-saving tool used to streamline routine agenda item approvals in order to free up time to discuss agenda items that require the greatest amount of attention and deliberation. This improves the productivity of Council and ensures their time is most effectively utilized by focusing on governance items that have the greatest impact on the City and its residents.

An overview of the use, considerations, procedures and implementation of a Consent Agenda were brought before Committee of Whole on November 18, 2019 for review and feedback. Based on the discussion, Committee agreed to the use of a Consent Agenda during Council meetings. In order to facilitate the implementation and use of a Consent Agenda, proposed amendments to the Council Procedure Bylaw have been made to provide procedural direction. These amendments ensure procedural formalization and standardization, thereby reducing the risk that the Consent Agenda is used inconsistently or inappropriately. The amendments include:
  • Addition of a definition of a Consent Agenda
  • Identification of which types of matters are eligible for placement on the Consent Agenda
  • Procedural direction on exempting an item from the Consent Agenda and moving and voting on the Consent Agenda
  • Procedural direction on debating, moving and voting on exempted items
Options/Alternatives
Council may choose not to amend the Procedure Bylaw to provide procedural direction on the use of a Consent Agenda. However, without these amendments, the possibility of misunderstanding and/or misinterpretation of the purpose and use of a Consent Agenda may result.
Consultation/Engagement
The City Clerk’s Office reviewed the Procedure Bylaws, agendas and minutes and spoke directly with City Clerk’s Office/Legislative Services staff of a number of municipalities who currently use a Consent Agenda to determine their procedures and to gain insight into any issues they may have experienced with respect to these procedures.
 
Implementation/Communication
IMPLEMENTATION PLAN
  Task Date
1. Present First and Second Readings of Procedure Bylaw Amendment to Council December 9
2. Develop Agenda Preparation Procedures re: Consent Agenda December 9 – January 13
3. Present Third Reading of Procedure Bylaw Amendment to Council January 13
4. Amend Agenda Preparation and Approval Procedure and receive City Manager approval January 14 – January 17
5. Update AgendaQuick template and minutes template January 14 – January 17
6. Provide Council Chair training on managing Consent Agendas January 14 – January 27
7. Communicate agenda procedure change to organization January 20 - 24
8. First use of Consent Agenda January 27
Impacts
Implementing a Consent Agenda will improve the efficiency of Council meeting proceedings and will allow Council to focus on governance items that have the greatest impact on the City and its residents.
Attachments
Bylaw C-1095-19 - Proposed Council Procedure Bylaw Amendment
Proposed Amendments - C-724-09 Council Procedure Bylaw - Redline

City Council and Committee of the Whole agendas and minutes are posted on the City of Spruce Grove website for information purposes only. These agendas may be changed at the discretion of Council by the addition or deletion of items. Anyone reviewing the draft agenda should do so on the understanding that it is subject to change by Council.

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